New York’s four “shock camps” throw selected nonviolent felony offenders into a military boot camp-style program, with academics, exercise, community service, counseling, and drug treatment. New York claims these programs have saved taxpayers billions over the years, and that participants have lower-than-average recidivism rates. Last week, Gov. Paterson proposed shuttering one of the four camps, the Moriah Shock Incarceration Facility in Mineville, as one of a slew of cost-cutting measures. Altogether, Gov. Paterson’s prison budget plan is expected to save $14.1 million, reports the Plattsburgh Press-Republican; New York corrections officials say they’ll divert the savings into expanded mental health and sex offender programs.
Tomorrow, citizens are expected to rally to keep Moriah Shock open — among them Moriah Town Supervisor Tom Scozzafava, brother of a certain erstwhile Republican Congressional candidate. Over at North Country Public Radio, you can listen to Scozzafava explain why he thinks closing the Moriah camp is a bad idea, and hear a 1999 news report featuring interviews with inmates from Moriah Shock’s “Sixth Platoon.”